Klub Vintage is a shop near Hopewell, NJ that is owned by my friend Adam. Those of you who follow the site closely may remember my review of Nick C’s BMW E21 Alpina clone, Adam is Nick’s brother and the E21 was a product of Klub Vintage in its earlier stages. Adam has been building cars and bikes for over 15 years now, and has recently procured a much larger, more prominent space on RT 518 near Hopewell. He has some big plans for things to come in this new location.
Lots of effort is being put into developing the space, so please realize that what you see in these photos is a work in progress, and the finished product will be featured here later on. That said, it did make for a nice setting in which to shoot Adam’s BMW 2002. The car is quite rough around the edges at the moment, and a full restoration is in the works, but honestly there is something about the car, as it sits, that just pushes all the right buttons for me. It has a patina to it that is irresistible, and of course those turquoise wheels help quite a bit. To me it looks like a 2002 rat rod, the likes of which is not often seen and I think it suits the car quite well. I guess I’ll have to see what I think when the car is finished though, before I can truly compare.
Adam has a lot planned for Klub Vintage, far more than just BMWs. He works on all makes of vintage cars and motorcycles, with experience in minor fixes, full rebuilds, engine swaps, modifications, and all sorts of other custom work. I am looking forward to seeing Klub Vintage progress, and I look forward to sharing what they are doing with all of you. Enjoy the pics, this just the beginning.
The weather in the Northeastern US was incredible this weekend, so I took a nice long cruise in my Miata. This was the first cruise of this sort I have taken in it since I got back from my summer in Michigan a few weeks ago, and in a lot of ways there was some reacquainting that needed to be done. Before I left for the summer I uncovered a few issues with the car that needed, or still need, dealing with. I subsequently found myself second guessing the financial aspects of it all the whole summer, even thinking it may be easier just to part it out. This cruise gave me some much needed quality time with the car, with the perfect weather and on perfect roads I was reminded why I bought the Miata in the first place.
The timing of all this was interesting because Chris Harris had just released a video on the Miata where he second guessed his now infamous stance against the MX5. His conclusion was that the Miata is a great roadster but a mediocre sports car, and one of the most fun ways you can spend a few thousand dollars (or pounds). I have to agree, there are better driver’s cars out there, and it took a few modifications to my car to get it where I wanted it to be dynamically.
The roadster experience though, is second to none, and every time I drive my car I cannot help but thinking the newer, more expensive Miatas could not possibly offer anything more. Sure if you line mine up against the current NC Miata I would lose in a drag race, but neither car is fast by anyone’s standards, and neither car is meant to be.
So what do you really get by spending more than just a few grand on a Miata? Maybe a warranty if it is new enough, but as far as the experience goes you get nothing more for your money. What I’m saying here is that there is really two ways to buy a Miata, brand new, or as cheap as possible. Any other way and you are just wasting money. All of those NB Miatas around $10k are worthless, because a $2800 NA Miata like mine will give you the exact same experience.
I do love my car, and it reminded me why during our cruise on Saturday. A Miata is an experiential machine, and despite my car’s flaws it still puts a huge grin on my face.
I remember the first time I saw a Z8 in person. It was right around the time I was really starting to get obsessed with cars, and I had become familiar with the Z8 through the latest James Bond Playstation game. My mom and I had just parked our car to run some errands when I saw a sleek, low, silver car approaching. At first glance, I thought it was a Porsche, but then I realized it was 007’s car. In the decade or so since then, many things have changed in the world, but the Z8’s price has remained the same. Many people are surprised this car has held its value so well, especially since it received a rather mixed reception from many journalists. I have been thinking on this myself, and I have a few ideas as to why it has remained so expensive. Continue reading Some say a car can’t be a good investment, and I say to them: BMW Z8→
I just saw Chris Harris’ new video on Drive where he informed us he had sold his Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 and had bought a Ferrari 599. While I understand his motives, this made me wonder if he had just made a financial mistake that he would regret for the rest of his life. I have talked to far too many people with the same story, “If only I had held onto that (now incredibly valuable car) I had back then…”. You see, looking forward I think that the 997 series of GT 911s may well be a pinnacle generation for Porsche, just as the 993s were, being the last air-cooled cars.
Rumors have been circulating that there will come a time when GT series 911s will no longer be available with a clutch pedal, and it could even happen soon with the 991. Porsche has already wet their feet in this approach with the 997 Turbo S, which was only offered with their PDK transmission. Paddle shift gearboxes have basically become the norm for high performance cars, and they are undoubtedly faster on the track. So, is there any reason to doubt these rumors? Unfortunately not, and that could make the 997 GTs some of the most sought after Porsches in the future.
This is especially so of the top spec RS models, cars that had very limited production. The GT2 RS and the GT3 RS 4.0 will command the highest amounts for sure, but I see more normal GT3 RSs and standard GT3s appreciating as well. Sure I expect the 991 GT3 RS to be faster and more powerful than the 997 RS 4.0, but without the manual it will never offer the same sort of experience. A similar situation can be seen today where 991 Carrera Ss match the power and performance of the old 993 Turbos, but the 993s still command the same money as a new 991 and will definitely continue to appreciate whereas the 991s will not.
Whenever there is a big change in the Porsche 911, enthusiasts tend to respond with skepticism and turn to the best of the old 911s with their money. It happened with the death of air-cooling, and I believe it will happen again with the death of the manual transmission. So if you are in the market comparing your options, it may be smarter to buy that GT3 RS, or GT2 instead of a Ferrari 430 or Lambo Gallardo right about now. We will see what happens, but you may thank me in a few years.
While at the Greenwich Concours this June, I walked around the hotel across the harbor and came across this unrestored California Spider in the front parking lot. It is number 1581GT, the 41st of only 50 made. According to Hemmings Motor News (in their December 2011 issue), the current owner, Thierry Morin, has had it since 2002, when he was the high bidder at Christie’s Pebble Beach auction in 2002, for over $1.2 million–it had less than 26,000mi when he purchased it from the previous owner, William Ruger Jr. The first owner, Alfred E. “Erwin” Goldschmidt, was a successful amateur racer, but Ruger took it off his hands when the car was about six months old. It is still a completely unrestored car and won Best Preserved at the 2005 New York Concour. It was shown as well at the 2008 Greenwich Concours and the 2011 Fairfield Concours. This is one find I will not soon forget. Continue reading Spotted! 1959 Ferrari 250GT California Spyder LWB, Greenwich, CT→
This is a great video showcasing two of the best roadsters in history. The Elan was the inspiration for the MX5 in a different era, and both cars have lessons to teach other carmakers today. This is pure driving and pure fun, the hell with 0-60 times and 1/4 mile runs. I can only hope that one day I get to drive a Lotus Elan like this, it is pretty high up there on my list. Enjoy the vid.
This is the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale, and I’m sure your eyes have already informed you that it is one of the most beautiful cars ever built by anyone. The word “Stradale” of course means that it is street version of a racing car, and it is indeed. The Tipo 33 Stradale was made in 1967 as a road going version of Autodelta Alfa Romeo’s Tipo 33/2 racing car. Only 18 Stradales were ever built, making it one of the rarest, most sought after cars in the world. One that just gets more and more interesting with every new detail you uncover. Continue reading Obscure Auto: Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale→
On Sunday, I was fortunate enough to have someone at the Subaru booth at the Fort Lauderdale International Auto Show unlock the Subaru BRZ for me to take a video and a few extra pictures. Pictures are available after the jump. As of Tuesday, we know that orders are being taken now, and production will be starting soon. Sales will start sometime next month, or in early May.